The heartbroken family of newly engaged jogger stabbed to death in random attack say they have already forgiven her attacker.
Wendy Martinez, 35, was stabbed to death while running through a typically safe Washington DC neighborhood at around 8pm on Tuesday. Anthony Crawford, 23, was arrested for her murder the following day.
Now Martinez’s grieving mother Cora has revealed she has already forgiven her daughter’s killer, because ‘My heart has no room for hate.’
‘I am asking my family to do the same,’ she said at a press confernece. ‘Just let it go
Wendy Martinez’s fiance Daniel Hincapi and her mother Cora Martinez have spoken about her death
The heartbroken say they have already forgiven her attacker after Anthony Crawford, 23, was arrested in connection with the killing
‘Wendy is at peace, she is happy and we want to follow that example.’
Her family say that Martinez was very excited about her upcoming wedding and that the last seven days, since fiancé Daniel Hincapi proposed, had been the ‘happiest of her life.’
‘She was very excited when she found out she was going to be engaged,’ Cora said in the press conference Thursday. ‘As soon she had the engagement ring she let me know. She was like ‘Mom I got it!’
‘Wendy lived the happiest seven days of her life.’
Cora said that they visited a store to try on wedding dresses days after the proposal, ready for a wedding in December. But that memory is now bitter-sweet.
Her family say that Martinez was very excited about her wedding and that the last seven days, since fiancé Daniel Hincapi proposed, had been the ‘happiest of her life’ (pictured moments after the proposal)
She beamed as she showed off her new emerald and diamond sparkler just days before her brutal murder
‘I never figured that when I saw my daughter in that dress, that… she was buying it for her funeral,’ she said, tearing up.
‘She was so excited,’ her fiancé Hincapie said of their wedding plans.
‘I was so excited. I was the happiest man in the world, engaged with the love of my life. Finding dates, venues, thinking about logistics…
‘And suddenly she’s gone,’ he said, struggling to hold back his emotions. ‘It’s a real tragedy.’
Martinez, the chief of staff of the software and data company FiscalNote, was a keen runner and Hincapie says he plans to carry on running in her memory.
‘One of the last things that she did this year was to train me for my first full marathon early in the summer,’ Hincapie said. ‘So I would like to keep that. I would like to keep running for her and just helping … her community, her projects and all the dreams that she had. Hopefully I will be able to continue that, continue her legacy.’
Martinez was out for an evening run near Logan Circle just before 8pm on Tuesday when she was attacked by the knife-wielding male stranger at the intersection of 11th and P streets.
Caught: DC police on Wednesday night arrested Anthony Crawford, 23, seen in a surveillance video left, in the stabbing death of jogger Wendy Martinez, 35 (right)
Martinez was out for an evening run (pictured running along the street moments before she was killed) near Logan Circle just before 8pm on Tuesday when she was attacked by the knife-wielding male stranger at the intersection of 11th and P streets
The mortally wounded Martinez ran into a nearby Chinese restaurant for help and video, obtained by Fox News, showed her run in as blood gushed from a laceration to her neck. While some ran away from the horrific scene, other patrons rushed to her side.
She was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Her mother said she was proud of her Martinez for the way she handled herself in the final moments of her life.
‘My daughter was a fighter,’ she said. ‘She was a warrior. She fought up to the last seconds for her life.
‘She got up and she ran into this restaurant and asked for help. That makes us so proud.’
Crawford, a known drug user said to take synthetic drug K2, has since been arrested and charged with first-degree murder while armed.
The attacker and victim did not appear to know each other.
‘It looks like it was an unprovoked attack,’ Police Chief Peter Newsham said.
Newsham described Crawford’s criminal history as ‘extensive,’ but said he did not have violent convictions.
Cora said she feels relieved the suspect has been arrested, even if it is just knowing that ‘other girls are safe now, or safer maybe.’
‘So I really feel relieved, in peace, I have forgiven him. Completely.
‘We believe in the greatest judge, the ultimate person that will give what is deserved.
Family members say Martinez will be buried in her hometown of Greenacres, Florida.
Chief Newsham said a combination of information received from patrol officers and tips from members of the public generated by a surveillance video helped homicide detectives track down Crawford in Girard Street Park on Wednesday night.
Video shows Wendy Karina Martinez, 35, dash into the restaurant as blood gushed from a laceration to her neck
Young professional: Martinez worked as a chief of staff at a DC-based technology and management company
He described the event as: ‘very disturbing’.
‘You have a young woman out here exercising… in a very safe neighborhood,’ he said.
‘You have a lot of people out here, who are enjoying dinner across the street. It’s unsettling.’
The Georgetown graduate had just become engaged just last week, according to her heartbroken family, with a storybook proposal and a emerald ring.
A photo from the happy occasion shows fiance Hincapie in a blue suit, down on one knee, with a ring box open as she stood beaming.
Family say she was excited to be planning her wedding to the DC bank executive.
The young executive got engaged just last week to her fiance Daniel Hincapie. Family say she was already excited to be planning their wedding
Martinez lived not far from the crime scene and was an avid jogger known to run for miles. Her Facebook account features photos from past races.
Police believe the attacker, described as a black man, did not know Martinez and that it was most likely a random act of violence and a ‘singular incident.’
The chief said the suspect was last seen wearing a long-sleeve mustard-colored shirt, dark-colored sweatpants, white socks and light-colored sandals.
Police have released surveillance video showing the person of interest casually walking in the area around the time of the deadly attack, swinging an arm.
Fox 5 DC reported that the knife used in the stabbing has been recovered at the scene.
The jogger was attacked as she waited to cross the street at the intersection of 11th and O streets
The victim’s family released a statement after the shocking murder, describing the ‘light of our lives’ daughter who was killed. They said in party:
‘Wendy Karina Martinez was the light of our lives. Not only was she an avid runner, but she was a devout Christian, a wonderful friend, and a driven professional. Everything you hope that a daughter and a friend could be. She was also excited to be planning her upcoming wedding to her fiancé, Daniel Hincapie. They were engaged just last week.’
Martinez, seen here in photos with her now-fiance Daniel, was an avid jogger who was known for running for miles around DC
Martinez, whose family described her as the ‘light of our lives’, had a Master’s degree in Latin-American studies form Georgetown
According to her LinkedIn profile, Martinez had a Master’s degree in Latin American studies and conflict resolution from Georgetown University. For the last two years, she had worked as chief of staff at the technology and management company FiscalNote.
Martinez’s employer addressed news of her violent death in a tweet sent out on Wednesday.
‘The entire FiscalNote family is shocked and deeply saddened to learn that Wendy Martinez, our Chief of Staff, was killed last night,’ the message read. ‘Wendy was an invaluable member of our team and a vibrant member of the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy’s family and friends.’
Police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to suspect’s arrest